2020 Pop Sugar Reading Challenge · 2020 Reviews · historical fiction

POPSUGAR READING CHALLENGE 2020: Lady Clementine by Marie Benedict

Today I am marking off my thirty fourth #35th checkpoint category for the POPSUGAR READING CHALLENGE 2020 with:

From Marie Benedict, the New York Times bestselling author of The Only Woman in the Room, comes an incredible novel that focuses on one of the people who had the most influence during World War I and World War II: Clementine Churchill.

In 1909, Clementine Churchill steps off a train with her new husband, Winston. An angry woman emerges from the crowd to attack, shoving him in the direction of an oncoming train. Just before he stumbles, Clementine grabs him by his suit jacket. This will not be the last time Clementine Churchill saves her husband.

Lady Clementine is the ferocious story of the brilliant and ambitious woman beside Winston Churchill, the story of a partner who did not flinch through the sweeping darkness of war, and who would not surrender either to expectations or to enemies.

Review:

Marie Benedict issues her readers with an astonishing novel of a great woman who lived in the shadow of her powerful husband. Lady Clementine chronicles the life and times of Clementine Churchill. Charting Clementine’s life from the moment she ascended to the role of wife to Winston Churchill in 1908, through to the restoration of peace following the close of World War II, this is a full life story.

The woman behind one of the most formidable figures in the both the Great War and the Second World War, Clementine Churchill, wife of one of history’s most powerful men, is brought to life on the pages of Marie Benedict’s historical fiction piece, Lady Clementine. Over the years, Clementine saved her great husband many times over. Throughout her partnership with Winston, Clementine provided key counsel, assistance in pertinent political decisions, she interjected during political dinners with dignitaries and Clementine contributed to many of Winston’s speeches. We also learn that Clementine was a suffragette and a highly enterprising woman. This ambitious and intelligent partner to Winston achieved a great deal during her time as the other half of the formidable Winston Churchill. Despite the enemies, criticism and opposition, Clementine managed to rise above it all. There is no question that Clementine Churchill emerged as a respected figure of her time.

I love nothing more than to uncover rich historical fiction biographies of key female figures from our past. Marie Benedict is a talented and trusted author of the historical fiction genre. Benedict specialises in bringing to light the lives of great women from our past. In Lady Clementine, we are issued with a strong and insightful history of Clementine Churchill, the wife of Winston Churchill. Lady Clementine proved to be a well-researched, insightful and impressionable novel that I appreciated greatly.

I had no prior knowledge of the act of saviour that Clementine performed on her husband Winston. This key event defines their long partnership. Over the years Clementine worked to save Winston many times over. Through the unfolding story presented in Lady Clementine, we learn that Clementine was a permanent fixture in Winston’s political career. Clementine provided essential advice and guidance in vital decisions affecting both Britain and international affairs. I was immediately taken by Clementine, I connected to her values, aspirations and efforts. Clementine was a force to be reckoned with and she didn’t sink quietly into the background. I empathised with Clementine’s marriage to Winston, which was at many times very taxing. We witness Clementine’s moments of despair, her overwhelming nervousness and the pressure she was continually placed under by her demanding husband. Despite this, Clementine remained by Winston’s side. Clementine’s only downfall was her care of her children, which suffered under the expectations she held as the wife of Winston. Benedict portrays these flaws and positive qualities in an objective way throughout her novel.

Foreshadowing the personal events, achievements and trying times that followed Clementine Churchill during this first person account that covers the years 1908 to 1945, is a thorough overview of a number of significant world events. Benedict does a very good job in this area of her novel, drawing on her impeccable range of research to highlight essential moments from Winston Churchill’s reign, which is seen through the eyes of Clementine. I enjoyed and appreciated Clementine’s viewpoint on these keynote world affairs. We travel from the suffragette movement, to the onset of the First World War, all the way through to the rise and close of the Second World War. These were trying and defining times, vividly brought to life in a fairly swift sweep by Marie Benedict. What I appreciated the most about Lady Clementine was the rich characterisation of not only Clementine and Winston, but their family members, offspring and other very prominent figures from the time period. This aspect of the tale really made me appreciate Lady Clementine.

There is no denying the power, intelligence, support and the heady influence of Clementine Churchill. Marie Benedict’s Lady Clementine is a novel that you should add to your reading list if you are a fan of real life female figures from times past.

**** 4 stars

Lady Clementine by Marie Benedict was published on 7th January 2020. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.

To learn more about the author of Lady Clementine, Marie Benedict, visit here.

8 thoughts on “POPSUGAR READING CHALLENGE 2020: Lady Clementine by Marie Benedict

      1. Yes I think it comes out either late this year/early next year, The Mystery of Mrs Christie, telling the story of her disappearance of eleven days. Sounds interesting!

        That’s a shame your first ever Christie novel wasn’t great. Would you be tempted to try another? I don’t mind her work.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s